Meatloaf Cupcakes

Remember when I posted these, and wrote about the instant aversion my kids have towards meatloaf?  They can’t get enough meatballs, but when I use that same recipe and make a loaf out of it, something happens.  Well, I just solved the problem for all the mothers out there looking to get their kids to eat meatloaf.  MEATLOAF CUPCAKES!!!!

The other week a friend of mine at work came by to tell me about this awesome bakery in Chicago, called the MeatLoaf Bakery.  She described the meatloaf cupcakes and instantly my mind went racing – mostly to the decorations.  Bacon, chives, shredded cheese, black olives, a ketchup dollop on the top – I just couldn’t stop myself.  Then reality set it – but would my kids actually get into this?  Oh boy did they ever.  They begged me to make them every night for weeks, until I finally got up the nerve.  Mostly I was concerned about piping the mashed potatoes, I wanted to make sure I make them creamy enough, yet mildly stiff, so that they would hold their shape perfectly.  Mashed potatoes were never my strength.  Well – I went with two recipes from Cooking Light (adapted slightly), and they were winners.  The kids loved EVERYTHING about these cupcakes – they even ate the mashed potatoes which I have never been successful at getting them to eat.  These were just about the greatest dinner ever.

So – for all your Moms out there – this one is definitely for you.  Please make them with your kids and watch them inhale the meatloaf – be sure to take pictures, so people believe you.  I never would have believed it myself…



  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped carrot
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 cup ketchup, divided
  • 1 1/2 pounds ground beef, extra lean (raw)
  • 1 cup bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons prepared mustard
  • 1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 large eggs
  • Cooking spray

Mashed Potatoes

  • 4 cups cubed peeled Yukon gold potato (about 2 pounds)
  • 1/4 cup 2% reduced-fat milk
  • 1/4 cup low-fat sour cream
  • 3 tablespoons butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


  • 3 tablespoons chopped chives
  • 4 pieces of bacon cooked and chopped


Preheat oven to 350°.

Heat the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add chopped onion, chopped carrot, dried oregano, and minced garlic; sauté 2 minutes. Cool.

Combine onion mixture, 1/2 cup ketchup, and the remaining ingredients except cooking spray in a large bowl.

Spoon the meat mixture into 12 muffin cups coated with cooking spray. Top each with 2 teaspoons ketchup. Bake at 350° for 25 minutes or until a thermometer registers 160°. Let stand for 5 minutes.

While the meatloaf is cooking, make the mashed potatoes.  Place potato in a saucepan; cover with water. Bring to a boil; cover, reduce heat, and simmer 10 minutes or until tender. Drain. Put potatoes into a ricer for best results.  Return potato to pan. Add milk and remaining ingredients; stir with a spoon to desired consistency.  If they are not creamy enough for you, add up to 1/4 cup more milk – although they need to be stiff enough to pipe on top.

Put the potatoes into a pastry bag with a wide star tip and pipe the mashed potatoes on top of the meatloaf.  Sprinkle with bacon crumbles and chopped chives.

For a printer-friendly version of this recipe, please click here:  Meatloaf Cupcakes

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197 thoughts on “Meatloaf Cupcakes

      1. i am so amazed.. Got some lean beef on sale and thought , gee why can;t I put meatloaf in a muffin pan and make meat loaf cupcakes for just my husband and I. They came out wonderful. . I looked on the internet and found you. Thank you so much for the great ideas.

  1. I must say, cupcakes are really the “IN” thing. Every birthday party, or any other party for that matter would have a cupcake centerpiece or cupcake giveaways and other cupcake stuff. I have never tried a savory cupcake that is why I am very eager to try this out. I love decorating cupcakes and I am sure I can use the same styles with this meatloaf recipe, but this time, I’ll be using cream, catsup, mustard (perhaps….) and bacon bits instead of candy sprinkles. I can’t wait to get my hands busy with these cute meatloaf cupcakes! Brilliant post!

      1. Have you or anyone else tried these in mini-muffin tins? i know it’s been a few months since this comment above. I was just wondering if you had experimented with the time required to cook in the mini size.

      2. I never did try these in a mini-muffin tin. I would just cut the time in half, depending on the size of your mini tins.

      3. I made them in a mini muffin tin. It made more than 24-closer to 30, I think, so I had to do two batches. I baked them for 15 minutes (they were done) drained the grease off, let sit for 5 minutes, then flipped gently onto a baking rack and put them in the fridge to firm up-Dont handle til they’re firm, or they’ll split really easily.

      4. Thanks for the information Jamie – I hope you liked them! I still haven’t tried the mini variety, but I am sure they looked adorable!

  2. This is the best idea for kids! I never would have thought of this. However, if I had kids these probably wouldn’t just get eaten by them… These are much more fun than the regular version.

  3. This is awesome! It might even get me to eat meatloaf! I mean how cute are these Dawn?! I have to learn how to do piping like this – and I have to find this bakery! We’re down in that area at least once a week…I’m thinking that might be a good lunch stop!

  4. I’ve enjoyed the treats at Meatloaf Bakery. They have a marvelous array of creative combinations. I never thought about trying it at home until now. My daughter would love (and eat) these!

  5. Hi There
    Just wondering if you had a suggestion at all, I’m hoping to make these as a side for Christmas lunch, could I make them a day in advance? And just reheat? or would you suggest making the meat loaf and the mashed potato, re-heating separatley when ready to serve and then putting them together just before serving? appreciate your help

    1. If you have to make them ahead of time, I would just make the meatloaf cupcakes, then warm them up while you make the potaotes and then pipe them on right before you are ready to serve. Good luck!!

  6. My daughter and I just made these to play an April Fools trick on my husband. He completely fell for it but finally tried them and loved them. Everyone said that we have to make them again. Thanks for the great recipe!!!

  7. I made these last for dinner using your exact recipe! They were fabulous!! The meatloaf is very flavorful and moist and the potatoes were the perfect tasty topping. I just scooped the potatoes on top for a more rustic look and they were so cute and so delicious. I’ll be making these again!

    Thanks for the recipe!

    1. Sorry, I make these meatloaf cupcakes, and they were the worst meatloaf I have ever eated. No flavor there at all. Followed the receipe just how it was printed. Will not ever make this again. I had to throw this away in the garbage. It was that bad.

      1. Sorry to hear that – so many other people have loved the recipe. Everyone has different tastes!

      2. I would think you could you pretty much your favorite meatloaf recipe…just a thought. My family liked them just as they were, thank you Dawn for this fun idea! My kids love cupcakes and now they love “meatloaf” cupcakes.

  8. Made these for dinner tonight and they were a huge hit! My husband just kept smiling and shaking his head, it was funny. They tasted great (can’t believe one person commented they were gross and threw them away!) – they were fun to make and eat. Definitely will make them often. I didn’t use regular cupcakes, I had a jumbo muffin pan and used that instead and they were the perfect serving size!

      1. I actually don’t know – but the meatloaf recipe is based on a recipe from cooking light. I hear there are some sites that you can plug ingredients into and get the caloric information.

  9. we like meatloaf so I will made my usual meatloaf with our usual mashed potatoes and I am sure they turned out the same way. We like it I use celery, onion, and jalepeno with the garlic..I use basil in my italian dishes, so I didnt use it in this..I also like to use a mild BBQ sauce on it instead of Ketsup..Husband hates ketsup sooo..I love the idea of the “Cupcake” part as this has forced my family to get fixed portion sizes, to cut down on his weight.It worked. Instead of him cutting Huge pieces, he gets just the amount you would get in a 4 oz portion. Husband has lost 12 lbs so far, using the cupcake size portions on many of my meals. I have also made this in the Chicken Pot Pie recipe..He loves both..Excellent Idea my dear..clearly a winner..I dont care what the nay sayers say..its great. Thanks for sharing it.

      1. I have, I’m an older single lady, and meatloaf is a favorite, but usually too much for me, I tried the ‘cupcake’ and froze them, then seal them with a vacuum sealer… turned out great!! Now I can have a meatloaf cupcake whenever I want one. Great idea!

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  11. Try with mashed sweet potatoes as the “icing”…. so good! the sweetness of the potatoes and the meat compliment each other so well :) For the mashed sweet potatoes I just peel, chop, and boil them and then mash them with 2 tbsp apple juice concentrate and some milk (almond milk works great too for a dairy free option.) Thanks for the great recipe!

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  13. Hi! Just wanted to give you a heads up. Found someone posting your photo and full recipe on their FB page here They even had the audacity to add text to the photo complete with poor spelling. The photo has a crazy amt of shares too. Feel free to email me if you need the link to file a copyright violation with FB. I have had to do it many times. Sad that people have to find their content elsewhere can can’t come up with their own.
    My email is InTheKitchenKP at gmail dotcom.

  14. My dad made them for me today as a birthday treat after i postd this on my facebook.. he is a chef so he used his own twist on the meatloaf and they were yummyyy!! Happy Birthday to me!!

  15. I love these and am planning on making them for a party. Here is my question….has anyone every made these with prepared mashed potatoes, like Bob Evans ? Also, would like to try reheating with potatoes to get a “twice baked” effect. Anyone?

  16. Delicious!! On my third time making it. Family loves it. When I reheat the leftovers at work, I get asked what that great smell is.

  17. how much do you spoon into the muffin tin? Will it shrink down much? I was thinking of using an ice cream scoop.

  18. Is there a nutitional guide for tbese? I made them today with slight chamges but have to keep track of calories fat and protein etc. Thanks!

  19. Hi there!
    I made these last night for my family and followed the recipe; they came out amazing! My family loves them. This was a quick, fun, nutritious, and delicious meal! Thank you so much!

    Oh I did one modification…
    I finely cut the broccoli florets (cooked) and used as sprinkles fl :-)

  20. I know this May sound nit picky but with the breadcrumbs, are you using the store bought or fresh/toasted or fresh and not dried at all?

  21. I am going to try this tonight for my husband, but out of hamburger going to use ground turkey, hope it works…what a great recipe…Thank you :)

  22. Is there a place on this site for nutritional info such as fat, fiber, carbs, etc? It already looks very diet friendly & delicious!

  23. I tried to make these a couple of months ago, but they came out of the muffin tins like meatballs. What did I do wrong?

    1. You really have to level the meat with a spoon, so that you are not just adding a meatball to your muffin tin. It also helps to make a little well in the center – and make sure the meat is touching all sides of the muffin tin.

  24. I’m not the cook in the fam (& that’s a good thing). LOL
    I do bake. So- I think that I’ll try this – looks like a baked dessert! ;)

  25. Great,Great,Great!!! I have 4 teenage sons and they loved the cupcake they ate 4 each, I loved watching them enjoy the cupcakes!! There was none left for my hubby but I will be making them again on Sunday!! Thanks again for the recipe Dawn………..

  26. This looks like a great way to bring a meat fush for a church gathering as well!!! I hope to try this some day or a version of it.

  27. You can also make burger patties and grill them for a burger as well. add the mash potatoes to the burger. I prefer wraps and pita’s to actual buns. but you can shape them as hot-dogs by making the actual ingredients a little thicker then rolling them in your hands top with mash potatoes, or whatever you like….also used to make beef stew dumplings, kids love dumplings in different shapes using cookie cutters…. my kids are grown now, but the things i used to do to get them to eat, healthy,…

  28. Try crunched up Golden Grahams cereal in place of bread crumbs. Makes the meatloaf to die for! Never have had a kid not like my meatloaf.

  29. These meatloaf cupcakes are fantastic. I made them today and they are easy, delicious, portable, and sized right. I didn’t have the carrots. They were so good. I will never make a reg old meatloaf again. Thanks.

  30. Could you use BBQ sauce in place of ketchup? These sound awesome, but I don’t have ketchup on hand and would hate to make an unnecessary trip title store.

  31. Hello, these look amazing!

    But the family I would cook them for are BBQ fanatics, do you think it would work with bbq sauce?

  32. Meatloaf-cupcakes were the winning dish at a recent club meeting. I served 28 people. I added a grilled ear of corn on the cob to each serving and it was a hit. You made my day stress free, enjoyable because I was tired from cooking all day and there were no leftovers to deal with.

    Thank you…..JB

  33. I never thought about making meatloaf, this way , I have had meatloaf lovers in family, for 40 yrs .My husband, my 2 Sons. My sons would probably eat 4 and that just guessing. But my grand kids would like these very much. Thank you,

  34. Made this about 3 years ago and it was good but the recipe called for crackers instead of bread crumbs but I like the twist with the mashed potatoes on top. Maybe leave a hole in the mashed potatoes and put corn or cream corn just to have it all together :)

  35. not a “mom out there” but I guess I’ll see if a daddy version is good enough for the kids to choke down.

  36. Dinner was a success! I’ve tried to make meatloaf before and it was a disaster. This recipe was simple and easy to follow. The presentation looks amazing. I also smothered them in onion gravy! Thanks for sharing!

  37. This looks delish! I’m about to make it! I was looking at the picture though. What is the green chunk in the second meatloaf cupcake? Just making sure I’m not missing an ingredient.

  38. I want to make these for Christmas. But what’s the other half cup of ketchup for? I don’t think you mention it.

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